To Taste is to Know

A while back, I attended a talk by Ustadh AbdelRahman Murphy. The room that had been booked out was intended to host both males and females with the speaker sitting in the same room. However, it quickly became apparent that there wasn’t enough space for both.

This is where it gets interesting. The sisters far out numbered the brothers (as always), so it made sense that the guys move to the smaller room next door. However, rather than asking the MALE speaker to come and join them, it seemed only fair that he remained where the majority of people were and the guys would listen through a connected speaker system. So here we have a situation where the talk is segregated with a physical wall as a partition with the speaker sat in the main hall with sisters sat and the guys in the small, cramped room listening through the microphone. The roles had completely reversed!

Quickly, the guys noticed how difficult it was to listen to a speaker they couldn’t see. So much of the talk was lost when the body language and expressions of the speaker couldn’t be seen. The room was cramped and uncomfortable. People would talk to each other during the talk as it was difficult to keep focused, and to top it all off, the microphone system kept cutting out…

When I stood up to take the photo, I described to them how ironic this situation was. Not a single brother who attended the talk was happy they were in that room. What was more interesting was that they all agreed that we shouldn’t do the same to the sisters…

To taste is to know… perhaps that is how we will get our mosques / isocs / brothers to finally listen?

Womens Partition 2

Top Left:           The brothers sat in the “closet”
Bottom Left:      Talk by AbdelRahman Murphy in the sisters section
Top Right:         The women’s section in the cupboard; Four Lions
Bottom Right:    The sisters view of jumu’ah in Washington

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6 thoughts on “To Taste is to Know

  1. ASA, I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see that a man has noticed how much sisters suffer getting dumped in cramped rooms that men would never tolerate! A few weeks ago I attended a talk by Shaykhs Abdul Hakim Murad and Yahya Rhodus amongst others. We were on a closed off balcony and although there were too many noisy kids running around (obviously sisters should have the kids – right?!) we could at least hear and we could ‘peep’ through the curtains if we wanted. However, as soon as it was Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad’s turn the microphone cut out and we could barely hear. Whilst the man were benefiting we were just sitting there, after a while I saw a young boy of about 10 and pleaded with him to go and tell the men to sort the sound out. I watched him through the curtains go to two men and spoke to them. Did they jump into action to help their Muslim sisters?? No! They did absolutely nothing. Alhamdulilah Islam elevated the position of women but sadly Muslim men devalue us. Maybe we should make all men taste so they may know

    • MashaAllah Sidi….. Glad you can relate to the sisters… its really easy to say the sisters talk too much at an event when their sectioned off and can’t see the speaker. But when the speaker engages with the audience its a completely different story at small events though. I have to say I’m proud of the sisters who have previously attended many talks at Gamgkol Shareef masjid by Shaykh Muhammad al Yaqoubi as soon as he walks in not a sound can be heard. Alhamdulilah Sacred Knowledge provide good audio and visual equipment. I pray we can learn from your experience and be more considerate towards sisters in the future. Jazakum Allah Khayran for sharing.

    • Subhanallah! It is so sad to hear stories like this. The biggest tragedy of the ummah has been the neglect of the Muslim woman and the belittling of their value. Muslim civilisation thrived when women’s education was at its peak.

      I pray Allah helps us overcome this with time. Personally, I always work to ensure equal access to the speaker for both brothers and sisters. May this become the norm for all the mosques and islamic communities across the world!

  2. Assalaamualaikum wr wb,

    (sorry this is a repost, please delete the earlier comment where there was a repetition JZK)

    Could I kindly advise the sisters who are affected to directly contact the personnel involved, rather than make a public appeal on this matter? There is a way to advise others and I do not think that the public arena is suited for this.

    In the UK, the Islamic Societies in the Universities are finding it increasingly difficult to conduct classes or invite speakers, because students themselves complain directly to the media about how we conduct these classes. Imagine running a Muslim society where the government, university authorities and non-Muslim students are constantly waiting to pounce on an opportunity to make the headlines. It does not solve the problem- it makes matters worse because now everyone has a say in how Muslims should run these Islamic events that are meant to help everyone attain closeness to Allah.

    So please, for the sake of this religion, its propagation, and for all the Muslims (students, teachers, speakers, etc) that are being implicated, could I request that such attempts be reconsidered (or at least dealt with away from the public domain, where it is simply waiting for a non-Muslim to pounce and use to fuel the Islamophobia fire)? Advise your fellow Muslims with sincerity; we are after all, here to help one another, not to fight each other- it will only hurt us all eventually.

    Barakallahu feekum

    • You seem more concerned by what non Muslims think than what your Muslims sister think! If there is one Muslim brother/sister being oppressed then It shouldn’t matter what means he or she uses to rectify the situation. The fact that this scenario of putting women in clothes cupboards for Khutbas /talks still exists in the UK/US suggests that the Muslim brothers are more concerned with maintaining culture than spreading the Deen. Who would condone this behaviour to a fellow Muslim? No reasonable human. Sad that our Muslim Brothers have become so unreasonable. Very embarrassing to have to speak to speak to a Mosque committee about basics like being able to listen to a scholar.. If you turn away fellow Muslims, how on earth are you expected to bring in new ones?!

  3. Just would like to share, in here the committee usually put the camera, screen and speaker… So everybody could see the body language and expressions of the khatib, eventhough they are in another room. Tks

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